Dr. Panda & Toto's Treehouse

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Dr. Panda & Toto's Treehouse App Poster Image
Delightful tree house feels like a kid's dream house.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn daily caretaking routines, such as eating, bathing, and playing as they lead Toto to do them in his tree house. Kids are in control of what Toto does and when he does it, a fun and meaningful experience for little ones learning to take responsibility for their own routines. Through play, kids also develop social and verbal skills. Parents can play alongside little ones, talking about what they're doing and making connections to their own lives. Kids also can learn empathy as they take on the role of Toto, seeing and offering what he wants or needs. Dr. Panda & Toto's Treehouse is a fun and age-appropriate way for young kids to explore and learn about routines.

Ease of Play

Kids have to think critically to move around the tree house to do the activities Toto is thinking about, but there's no penalty for not finding the right items. The tap gestures are all preschool-friendly.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

A logo ad for another app appears on the start page, but parents can disable the promo in the settings.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dr. Panda and Toto's Treehouse lets kids explore a cute turtle's fun tree-house home by playing, eating, and exploring. There are no instructions, and there's no wrong way to explore, but Toto shows kids through thought bubbles what he wants or needs. Toto's experiences will be familiar to most kids -- swinging, swimming, making sandwiches, taking baths -- and they can explore the tree house however they want or follow Toto's wishes. Parents can go into the settings and turn off the promotion ad for other apps as well as mute the background music.

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What's it about?

Toto the turtle hatches from his egg into a tree house that would be the envy of any kid. In his tree house, Toto lives and plays as kids direct him. A pull-down shade shows all the spaces in the tree house, and kids can move Toto around by pulling down the shade and tapping where they want Toto to go. A pull-up shelf holds toys and necessities, such as shampoo and medicine that kids can give to Toto. Thought bubbles pop up to show kids what he wants or needs, but they don’t have to do those things right away if they want Toto to do something else.

Is it any good?

DR. PANDA & TOTO'S TREEHOUSE is pretty much a young kid's dream home. Toto doesn't take the stairs; he slides down. Kids are free to have Toto explore wherever they want in the tree house, following his thought-bubble instructions or taking him where they want him to go. Of course, they'll see some consequences, such as flies buzzing around Toto if they don't bathe him or meet his needs. Play continues, regardless. The interactions are adorable; tickling Toto with a feather, rocking him to sleep as he snores, and dancing to tunes are only a few of the delights. And, if kids take a little break and don't touch the screen for a few seconds, Toto's methods of getting their attention will produce some giggles.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about things they like to do that Toto does -- make sandwiches, eat ice cream, swim, and play. As you talk, compare and contrast your kids' routines to Toto's.

  • Encourage kids to make up a story about Toto and narrate it as they play.

App details

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